People in Britain are now living in a “post-freedom of speech era”, anti-Islamisation activist Tommy Robinson has said, in a video alleging police forced him to leave Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.
“I’m trying to talk about freedom of speech being under attack, and as I’m trying to talk about freedom of speech these guys have turned up,” he says in the video, turning the camera to reveal a parked police car.
According to the former English Defence League leader turned citizen journalist, officers told him he would not be allowed to speak, and ordered him and his camera crew to leave the park.
“I was here to talk about the value and the history behind Speakers’ Corner,” he says in the video, before pointing to the site’s global reputation as “the home of free speech”.
“For 300 years people have come here with differences of opinion from Orwell to Lenin to Karl Marx. People have been free to come to this park, to criticise different ideas, to debate.
“That’s changed now,” he said, remarking that freedom of speech no longer exists in Britain because “if you criticise Islam the government will come down on you … police will come down on you”.
In the video, which closes with officers demanding Robinson’s details so that they can make a police report, the Luton-born activist says Britain’s recent treatment of conservative activists highlights how people in the UK are living in “a post-freedom of speech era”.
On Friday, Austrian Identitarian leader Martin Sellner and his American girlfriend Brittany Pettibone were detained and refused entry to Britain ahead of a planned talk on free speech at Hyde Park in London.
The pair were deported after being served Home Office papers explaining Generation Identity “is viewed in the UK as a right wing organisation”, and alleging that Sellner’s planned speech was “likely to insight (sic) tensions between local communities”.